Suffolk Mum Jailed for Bingo Fraud

41 year old Lucienne Mainely from Suffolk, has just been given a 16 month jail sentence after reportedly stealing more that £76,000 from her employer to fund her online bingo habit.

It is a sad day to write about another case of fraud due to an online bingo addiction. These kinds of reports seem to have become a lot more prevalent over the past year, so we are likely to see more of them hit the headlines throughout 2012.

Lucienne was an accounts administrator for APD Ltd, who makes electrical control panels. She was apparently well known to the family who run the business as she had been a trusted employee for more than 20 years  – so they must have been very shocked and upset when the fraud came out.

Suspicions that all was not as it seems arose back in January 2011 when Lucienne was found to have paid £800 into her own bank account from the company. When tackled about it she apologised, paid the money back to APD and vowed it would not happen again – but as you can probably guess, this was not the end of the story.

Just eight weeks later she was caught playing bingo at work and given a warning, but it was not until October 2011 that her fraudulent actions really come to light. A supplier had made a payment to APD of £3,000, but instead of paying the money into the company account, Lucienne paid it into her own bank – and she of course was found out.

This led to a review of the company’s accounts, where it was uncovered Lucienne had stole more than £76,000 – Prosecutor Mr Crimp, said the figure was more close to £87,000 as APD had to re-pay back VAT it had claimed.

Lucienne’s troubles started when her marriage broke down and she took to playing online bingo as a form of release and became addicted to the game.

Jailing her for 16 months, Judge Peter Fenn said: ‘The message must go out loud and clear from this court to those who might succumb to temptation to steal from those whose money they are in a position of managing.’

In the report published by the Mail Online, it shows a picture of a lady sitting at a table with a laptop computer in front of her. On the laptop is a screen shot of Tombola Bingo – nowhere in the write up is Tombola’s name mentioned, so we are not sure whether Tombola was the site Lucienne played at, although one thing is for sure we do not think Tombola will enjoy being linked to this fraud in any shape or form.

There are no winners in this, none at all.